Friday, 26 September 2014

Movie Review: A Walk Among the Tombstones

Previous Review: The Maze Runner
Next Review: The Equalizer

Here we go again...another crime thriller about girls being taken and Liam Neeson needs to go find the perpetrators before it's too late. However, it's different this time around compared with other past successes such as Taken or Non-Stop. The plot of the film is too straightforward and obvious, with no surprises or plot twists along the way, which makes it a boring film to begin with. The film's slow pace makes it even more difficult to sustain the viewer's interest. Not to mention, there's less action in the film this time as well.

Based on the 1992 novel of the same name by Lawrence Block, A Walk Among The Tombstones is about an unlicensed private detective, Scudder (also an ex-cop and recovering alcoholic) who's hired by a drug trafficker to hunt down the serial killers/kidnappers who brutally murdered his wife. During his investigation, Scudder slowly learns that these cruel men have committed similar crimes in the past but remain unpunished by law.

Once again, Liam Neeson is at his best and fits the character perfectly with his usual calm and cool yet resolute demeanour on screen. We get to see some 'Taken-style' scenes as he speaks authoritatively with the villains on phone, forcing them to comply to his demands. Unfortunately, the script for A Walk Among the Tombstones is just too dull and lacklustre for any one actor to carry.

There are no catchy or memorable punchlines he can deliver aside from his performance. His sidekick character, TJ (yes, he got one this time) seems out of place and feels rather unnecessary for the overall plot. There's no development for the villains that Scudder is looking for in the film either. The film shows how scary and vile they can be, but we don't know them. We don't know who they are, where they come from or what their ulterior motives are.

There are a few plot contrivances, along with some dialogue and situational cliché’s as well. Because there are no sudden plot twists or classic third act reveal on the villains, you don't really need to 'walk' along with Scudder to find and see the clues to unravel the mystery. You're just waiting for them to finally meet face to face in the end instead. The film spends most of its time saying what, when and how it's going to do, but it never says why. Because of this, it loses its meaning along the way.

Overall, it's a miss. If you wish to watch Liam Neeson as a lone-wolf action hero, I would highly recommend anyone to watch Taken or Non-Stop again instead. It's far better and exciting compared with this one.

Rating: 5.5/10

Previous Review: The Maze Runner
Next Review: The Equalizer

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